M. Blumenfled

About a decade ago, I was touring London with my new bride. With day after day of sight-seeing I began to find it more and more difficult to catch my breath. Finally, I found myself stopping about every block to rest before continuing. Something was wrong and I wasn't sure of what to do.

As soon as I returned to the States, my family physician diagnosed my heart disorder as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (then known as IHSS). Unfortunately, he could not prescribe any medication that relieved my symptoms. However, at my next visit, he was most enthusiastic about his colleague at who had excellent results working with a different medication...disopyramide.

Since that time, I have been able to continue my life at a normal pace with only few side effects, which I have been able to control.

- M. Blumenfeld

Dear Dr. Sherrid,

During the 39 months I've had my defibrillator, I had only one instance when it was activated. I feel very fortunate that it performed its function, possibly avoiding a serious medical event.

I have had no negative results from the procedure other than being patted down at airports by security personnel. A small price to pay for peace of mind ….and saving my life.

Thanks to you, for your attention and care -- it is much appreciated.


G. Smith

A. Domingues

When I think back, there were times in my life when I would be doing something strenuous and I would get totally out of breath. I never gave it much thought, because after a short rest, I felt better.

However, 4 or 5 years ago I accepted a new position for my company that required me to do a lot of walking and going up and down stairs. I was never a slow walker and I would walk very briskly between sites. I would often have to stop and catch my breath and thought I was completely out of shape. Actually, I was in pretty good condition. I passed a stress test and there appeared to be no problem with my heart even though an EKG showed an abnormality.

I thought I was getting asthma. Some of my symptoms were shortness of breath and lightheadedness. I couldn't lie down flat at night, I had to sleep sitting up. All this was worse after eating.

Several months before seeing Dr. Sherrid, I decided to retire and stay home to watch my grandchildren and let my daughter go to work. Her youngest was less than a year old and not too hard to take care of.

Dr. Sherrid changed my medicine and although my nighttime breathing improved, everything else didn't. Next, we tried a pacemaker. This helps some of people with HCM. It didn't help me!

Dr. Sherrid didn't want to press me into having surgery unless I felt comfortable with it. He suggested I have a talk with Dr. Daniel Swistel, a surgeon, who would tell me everything involved and answer all my questions.

Dr. Swistel performed the surgery, a myectomy and valve plication, six months ago.

I can't believe how great I feel. I can walk at a brisk pace for 20 - 30 minutes. Often, as was my old habit, I practically run up the stairs to the second floor. I can carry my now 2 year old grandson up for his nap; it is necessary to carry him because he won't go willingly.

I no longer get lightheaded and my breathing is normal for what I'm doing.

I'm 63 years old but I feel much younger.

A. Dominguez